The launch of ChatGPT saw a rise in the debate around artificial intelligence (AI) in the digital marketing industry towards the end of 2022. 

The controversy over this new technology caught our attention – we wanted to understand if the content written by AI would have a negative impact on brands. As a marketing agency, it is vital to keep in touch with the latest technology and know the effects. Regardless of the quality, we wondered if simply the knowledge that a website is AI written would be a dealbreaker for consumers.

We asked 3 key questions to 1000 consumers on their opinion towards brands using AI to write content for their websites.

The results…

We learnt almost half of the consumers (48%) would not trust a brand that uses AI to write content. 38% voted as ‘not sure’, meaning only 14% said they would trust a brand that does not use a person to write content. Ultimately, this creates a decision for brands on whether it is worth risking losing the loyalty of their customers. 

Alternatively, businesses may choose to not label their AI-written content to avoid a backlash from the customer. With a large 91% of consumers saying ‘yes’ to brands clearly labelling their use of AI, it is clear that most consumers believe honesty is key, even if they do not mind a brand using AI to write website content.

Delving more specifically into the type of written content, some argue that it is not simply a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer whether companies should use AI writing tools. Interestingly, 28% of consumers agreed that travel guides should be written by a person, followed by 17% of consumers voting for financial advice and news. On the lower end, 13% of voters agreed product reviews should be written by a person, and only a few people believe it is valuable that people write blog posts and product descriptions.

What should brands take from this?

There are lots of unknowns with this new technology, meaning brands need to tread carefully. As we are still in the early stages of adapting to AI, we have yet to know how Google will respond to content that is not written by a person. Duplicate content across brands is a real possibility, resulting in unoriginal content that can damage rankings.

So how should brands be using AI? The survey results make it clear: don’t use AI to write the most important, opinion-based content. We recommend taking advantage of AI’s encyclopaedic knowledge and using it for time-consuming topic ideation and keyword research. AI writing tools can send technical information and lists of keywords that would produce the same results as a person, but speedier. Within a few seconds, this technology can save precious working time.

AI will not be replacing the trust, human emotion, and experience of a content writer anytime soon. Perhaps due to the new (and therefore unfamiliar nature) of the technology, consumers cannot fully put their full confidence in it just yet. It is important to think of the effects of this new technology before brands replace their talented content writers with AI.

For more content and search marketing insights, read another of our helpful articles on the It Works Media blog. Alternatively, contact us today to find out how we can help you with your next marketing strategy.